In the Superman mythos created by DC editor Mort Weisinger, “the adventures of Supeman when he was a boy” appearing in Superboy and Adventure Comics presented a unique problem.  In a letter published in the Smallville Mailsack letter column of the Superboy title, B. V. Davenport, of Toledo, Ohio, laid it out:

 

No matter how amazing a Superboy cover may appear, we all know that whatever is happening won’t make any permanent change in the Boy of Steel’s life.  That’s the real trouble with the feature.  Everyone knows what’s going to happen and that he can’t die because he has to grow up to be Superman.  So there can’t be any surprising changes that are permanent.

 

The criticism that Superboy wouldn’t be killed because we know that he will someday become Superman was rather misplaced---nobody really thought that there was any chance of Superman, or any other DC headliner, being bumped off, either.  But, in general, Mr. (or Miss) Davenport had a point, and we knew it.  Any new concept introduced in Superboy would have to be backfitted into the Superman stories.  If something lasting happened to the Boy of Steel, there would have to be an explanation why we’d seen no evidence of it in the Man of Steel’s history.

 

The situation was complicated by the late-1960’s effort by DC to modernise their stories and make them more appealing to contemporary readers.  That was the rub, as far as Weisinger and the Superboy tales were concerned.  While it was O.K. for the adult Clark Kent to start wearing turtleneck sweaters and hang out with a mini-skirted Lois Lane, you couldn’t do that kind of stuff with Superboy and his supporting cast, who were stuck squarely in the 1930’s.  The Boy of Steel’s surroundings were looking antiquated and stodgy to modern teens.

 

The series needed a facelift.  The trick was finding a way to remove some of Superboy’s “olden days” taint without forcing a re-write of Superman’s continuity.  I’ve no idea how long it took Weisinger, or writer Otto Binder, to come up with the status quo-shaking story that appeared in Superboy # 145 (Mar., 1968).  But Mort liked it so much that he deliberately printed B. V. Davenport’s letter in the same issue, complete with his prickly editorial response:

 

Want to read the cover tale in this ish---and then take time out for a change of mind before you write us again?

 

I can’t say if "The Fantastic Faces" registered with B. V. Davenport, but it did with a lot of other folks.  In fact, this story became known among Silver-Age fans as---the “Youthenisation” of Ma and Pa Kent!

The splash page of “The Fantastic Faces” presents us with Superboy displaying portraits of his white-haired foster-parents and, at the same time, intoning, “These are the faces of Mom and Dad Kent!  Take a good look at them!  You’ll never see them again!

 

The Boy of Steel’s statement is premature, but not by much.  We do see the familiar Jonathan and Martha Kent again, but only for three panels, as Ma serves up a round of lemonade for the Kent family.

 

What we know that the Kents don’t is that, on the world of Thraxx, in another dimension, movie producer Jolax has spiked the well water from which Ma Kent made the lemonade.  You see, Jolax was pulling a fast one on the opti-screen-viewing public of Thraxx.  He aired a pilot film titled “The Superboy of Earth”.  But instead of going through the expense of actors, crew, sets, and special effects, Jolax simply used a super-space telescope to video-record the adventures of the real Superboy on the real Earth.  Jolax was even able to peer inside the Kent home and eavesdrop on the Boy of Steel’s life as Clark Kent, with Ma and Pa Kent.

 

And therein lied the snare.  The ratings for “The Superboy of Earth” went through the roof, and the sponsors were willing to finance an on-going series, as long as Jolax remedied one objection.  The opti-viewing audience complained that Jonathan and Martha Kent looked too old to have a teen-age son like Superboy.  No problem, said the sponsors, just hire younger actors to play Superboy’s parents.

 

Except that they weren’t actors; they were Superboy’s actual foster-parents.  But Jolax couldn’t tell the sponsors that.  The producer seemed hoist on the petard of his own hoax---until he got the idea of turning the super-telescope into a dimensional teleporter and using it to pour a flagon of youth serum into the Kents’ well water.

 

The next morning, Ma and Pa Kent wake up twenty years younger.  It seems like a blessing, until they realise that folks will think that only Superboy could have performed such a miracle and make the logical inference that Clark Kent is the Boy of Steel.  On the pretense of a vacation, the Kent family goes into seclusion, waiting for the effect to wear off.  But when Ma and Pa remain young, they return to Smallville and don old-age masks to appear publicly.  Unfortunately, the disguises prove too impractical for day-to-day living.

 

Superboy comes up with the solution.  If the Kents were just part of a group of people who were turned young, then nobody would connect Superboy with them.  After determining that the cause of their restored youth was the serum in the lemonade, the Boy of Steel has his parents invite a number of deserving oldsters to their house for a lawn party, at which Ma Kent’s thirst-quenching lemonade is a hit.

 

After the guests have drunk their fill, a mysterious comet passes over the Kent backyard, bathing everyone present in its glowing tail.   Sometime later, the youth serum in the lemonade takes effect, and all of the old-timers find themselves twenty years younger.  Behind the bushes, Ma and Pa Kent remove their old-age masks and pretend the same thing just happened to them.

 

The next day, the newspapers report just what was intended, that the bizarre comet was responsible for turning a handful of Smallville citizens young again, a “comet” which was actually Superboy flashing over the Kent yard at super-speed, while carrying a pot of luminescent chemicals to create an iridescent tail.

 

Remember Jolax?  Well, the movie producer still gets tripped up by his own chicanery.  You see, his sponsors decide that they’d rather keep the old Kents and do the series about a grown-up Superman, instead.  Jolax groans, “I have no way to turn the Kents old again . . . or to make Superboy grow up!”

 

Things turn out better for Ma and Pa Kent, though.

 

Well, as it turned out, quite a few had a complaint.

 

 

 

It had always been difficult to pin down the ages of Jonathan and Martha Kent, especially in the beginning, when the Kents usually appeared only in flashback scenes of a “kindly couple” finding a baby in a rocket.  For the first fifteen years or so, there was no consistency to the Kents’ appearances---sometimes young, sometimes middle-aged, and often, beyond middle age.

 

After Mort Weisinger imposed order on the Superman universe, the Kents of the Superboy stories took on their familiar white-haired, bespectacled, and somewhat plump look.  A reasonable guess, based upon that depiction, was that Ma and Pa Kent were in their early-to-mid-sixties.  However, that was confounded by the information contained in the form letter Weisinger sent to inquisitive Superman fans, which insisted that “Jonathan Kent is about 50, while Martha is a year or two younger.”

 

The occasionally-seen Superbaby stories, in which the Kents would have been younger by thirteen years or so, didn’t make things any clearer.  Ye Olde Editor’s form letter stated that the Kents were in their thirties, then.  But you couldn’t be sure from the art.  Sometimes, they were shown as more slender, with white hair and sometimes, with brown hair.  In the Superbaby tales drawn by Curt Swan, he provided the younger Martha Kent with a more girlish figure.  Other regular Superboy artists George Papp and Al Plastino were satisfied just shaving ten pounds or so off her matronly form.  Generally, the Kents of Clark’s toddler years looked younger but still middle-aged.

 

One would think that “The Fantastic Faces”, at least, would provide a definitive point for the Kents’ physical ages.  But even there, the Superboy writers and artists couldn’t get together to provide consistency.  Otto Binder’s script specified that the Kents were made twenty years younger.  George Papp drew the rejuvenated Jonathan and Martha as looking fortyish, which would be consistent with their older, sixty-something appearances.  But it was ten years too close to Weisinger’s form-letter direction that the Kents were around fifty.

 

When Bob Brown took over the art chores on Superboy in the autumn of 1968, he erased that extra decade by rendering Jonathan and Martha as looking no older than thirty or so.  They certainly looked younger than they did when they were raising a Superbaby, which was consistent with the events of “The Fantastic Faces”, but would cause problems later.

 

 

 

Because comics are primarily a visual medium, and since most fans had never received the form letter from Mort Weisinger, readers of Superboy probably gauged the Kents’ ages by their appearance, just as I’ll do here.  And they had to discriminate between the earlier Superboy tales, before issue # 145, which featured the white-haired Kents in their sixties (and whom, for simplicity’s sake, I’ll term “the Old Kents”), except for those Superbaby stories which showed Ma and Pa Kent pushing fifty (“the Middle-Aged Kents”).  And then there were the Superboy adventures from issue # 145 onward, which showed the Kents barely in their thirties (“the Young Kents”).

 

An unanticipated problem in youthenising the Kents was that it inverted the natural order.  Any subsequent Superbaby story created an awkward situation for new readers, who would be puzzled by a much younger Superboy with much older parents.  Initially, DC went with it, showing the Toddler of Steel with the Middle-Aged Kents in the next two Superbaby tales, one with a footnote explaining why the Kents looked older (Superboy # 167 [Jul., 1970]) and the other without (Action Comics # 399 [Apr., 1971]).

 

After that, though, the editors and artists got tired of the inverted-age business; it was tough enough for them to keep straight, let alone the readers.  And so, from that point on, Superbaby’s parents were the Young Kents, looking no different than they did when they were seeing teen-aged Clark Kent off to high school every morning (Superboy # 178 [Oct., 1971], et al.).  It was just easier that way, and none of the fans saw fit to mention anything about it.

 

Maybe because that was a minor glitch.  There was a major one in making Ma and Pa Kent younger that Superboy die-hards did complain about.  You see, the Big Change in the Kents wasn’t as seamless as Mort Weisinger thought it would be.  He had forgotten about “The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent”, which had appeared in Superman # 161 (May, 1963).  This was the story that told of Jonathan and Martha’s deaths and the events leading to them, and having been written some five years earlier, of course, the tale depicted them as the Old Kents.  Yet, “The Fantastic Faces” had insisted that the Kents’ rejuvenation was permanent.  Super-fans with long memories wrote in, pointing out the discrepancy

 

This was an uncharacteristic slip for Mort Weisinger, who normally monitored the Super-continuity with an overbearing scrutiny.  There were signs that Mort was getting tired.  Some of the fringe titles in his domain, such as Jimmy Olsen, were starting to look a little ragged.  As a matter of fact, the last few issues of Superboy had carried stale, rehashed scripts with increasingly sketchy art by George Papp.  Soon, Murray Boltinoff would take over editorship of Superboy, to reduce Weisinger’s workload, a preliminary to his retirement two years later.

 

So, the earlier “Last Days” story might have slipped Mort’s mind, or perhaps he just didn’t care enough anymore if someone remembered it, or not.  Either way, he was willing to wait until Louis B. Cohen, of Baltimore, Maryland, bailed him out.  In a letter published in Superboy # 148 (Jun., 1968), the last issue of the title that Weisinger would edit, Mr. Cohen wrote:

 

I really have nothing against the change in SUPERBOY # 145, and the way it was explained was pretty clever.  But for those who find a conflict between this and the story of [the Kents’] deaths a few years ago, in which they were aged in appearance, I would like to point something out.  The story began on the island where they contracted the disease and, though they hadn’t yet found the contaminated chest, the germs must have been present in the area.  Obviously, one of the first symptoms of the disease was an aging process; in order to fight the plague, the body drained off the “youth energy” the serum had spread through their cells, and so the Kents aged rapidly.

 

Uh . . . yeah, replied Mort, that’s the ticket.  However, simply overlaying “The Last Days . . . “ with Mr. Cohen’s proposal required the readers to overlook that the story did not show the Kents as being startled by their sudden reversion to old age, and that Superboy wasn’t fazed by it in the least when he dropped in on them.

 

Even Murray Boltinoff, an editor notoriously lax about continuity, understood that it was an inadequate explanation.  After replacing Weisinger on Superboy, Boltinoff decided to fix “The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent” another way.  He made it official when the story was reprinted in the next Superboy Giant Annual, issue # 165 (May-Jun., 1970).  The landmark tale was retitled “The Death of Ma and Pa Kent”, but that slipped by almost unnoticed, compared to the more dramatic change.

 

The Old Kents in the story had been retouched.  Their hair was recoloured brown, their eyeglasses were deleted, and their double chins had been tightened---in an effort to make them the Young Kents.  The new premise was that the Kents had remained young right up to their deaths.  E. Nelson Bridwell remarked on this in the Superboy Giant Annual of 1971:

 

. . . As for why we changed the faces, we realized that some of the scenes took place before the fever plague struck the Kents---and no one remarked on their changed appearance.  So we scrapped that explanation and kept the younger Kents, as they looked after they drank the youth serum.

 

A better solution, yes, but not by much.  You see, whomever did the retouching on the Kents did a slap-dash job of it.  In most instances, the Kents’ glasses were erased and their hair colour changed, but their bodies weren’t redrawn at all.  So what you were left with was the Old Kents looking like they had gotten their hands on some Grecian Formula and contact lenses, instead of the slim and vital-looking Young Kents who were parading around in the regular Superboy title.

 

That’s when Boltinoff discovered what a finicky bunch the Super-fans were.  Turning the Old Kents into Young Kents had been done so sloppily that nobody bought off on it.  Reader Gary Skinner remarked, “Seeing a 29-year-old head on a moderately stocky body of 50 just lacks rhythm.”

 

 

 

Throwing up its hands in frustration, DC just ignored the whole thing for a long time.  Then, in Superman # 327 (Sep., 1978), editor Julius Schwartz and writer Martin Pasko came up with the solution that had been right in front of DC’s face the whole time.

 

In “The Sandstorm That Swallowed Metropolis”, Superman goes up against the master criminal Kobra, who has ferreted out his civilian identity.  In order to hold the Man of Steel at bay, Kobra plucks Jonathan and Martha Kent, depicted as the Old Kents, out of time, a week before their deaths, and holds them in a time-suspension bubble. 

 

On page 10, Pasko provides the explanation that should have been obvious all along, when Superman reflects:

 

“They died over a decade ago!  And part of me has grieved ever since!  It was a terrible blow---because I expected them to live much longer.  They had been rejuvenated by an alien youth serum . . . but shortly before I turned 18, they began to age again---proving the effects of the serum had been only temporary!”

 

As always, Superman saves the day, though Kobra slips away from justice.  There’s a poignant moment, as the Man of Steel stares at his lost parents, frozen in time within the bubble.

 

“I don’t dare remove them from the sphere, but . . . god!  How I wish I could talk to them . . . hear them . . . one last time . . . .”

 

Pasko puts his stamp on the revelation that the youth serum simply wore off in the last panel, after Superman has returned his parents to their own time.  Ma and Pa Kent, unaware of their experience but left with an unsettling feeling, write it off as a brief dizzy spell.  They sadly accept the fact that they’re going to have to get used to getting old all over again.

 

 

 

Pasko had remedied Mort Weisinger’s gaffe as far as “The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent” and its place in Superman’s time-line was concerned.  In fact, it seemed to remind DC that the Kents actually had been older, at one time. Pasko iterated the rationale that the youth serum had worn off in his telling of Superman’s life-story, in Action Comics # 500 (Oct., 1979).  Then in 1980, when the Boy of Steel was given a second shot at his own title, The New Adventures of Superboy, the matter of the Kents’ “youthenisation” was mentioned in the first issue, to explain why they were the Old Kents at Superboy’s début as a super-hero, but the Young Kents, now.

 

Just as the matter of the Kents’ ages finally seemed to be straightened out, DC reshuffled its continuity with the Crisis on Infinite Earths mini-series.  John Byrne’s revamp of Superman eliminated his career as Superboy, but kept his foster-parents alive.  For them, Byrne used the Old Kents as the template.

 

However, throughout several reboots in the decades since, the preference has shifted to a fitter, more youthful Ma and Pa Kent.

 

Apparently, editorial discretion is even more potent than Jolax’s youth serum.

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A lot depends on how you define "change."

The Legion actually changed the past a lot. In "Secret of the Seventh Super-Hero" the fake Sun Boy's interference stops Clark's double from stealing his life. The Legion's attempt to lock Superboy up for life in their second appearance would have changed the past. They help Kryptonian refugees colonize Earth in Adventure 333, even if they do die out later.

So as Richard Willis says, it's more a handwave than anything. It means "Superboy can't save Abraham Lincoln" or "the Legion can't jump back in a time bubble and undo Lightning Lad's death," not that they cannot change the past.


Eric L. Sofer said:

Commander, as always, a splendid examination through the past, and more than a little fun!

My addition isn't a criticism at all, but a consideration I had. It was certain that Superboy (and Supergirl) would survive their adolescences because they always returned to the 20th century and grew up to be adults (even if Kara was never known as Superwoman.) So it was pretty safe to be on a team with them; THEY would survive no matter what.

But one of the great DC rules of time travel was "you can't change the past." But it was never discussed from what perspective that was. For example... what if Superboy had become infatuated with Shadow Lass... and asked her to marry him? From Tasmia's point of view, it was pointless. From Kal's point of view... it was his life. Not the past, but the present.

Thus, my thought was an issue of S&LSH during Shooter and Grell's run. Brainic 5 has summoned Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, and Saturn Girl to his time research lab. He has two screens focused on a museum, showing the same scene; newspapers, statues, etc. dedicated to Superman.

Then it pulls back... and one scene shows the Superman Museum in Metropolis, and one shows the Superboy Memorial in Smallville, in tribute to the Boy of Steel, killed by the future sorcerer Mordru. And in dozens of alternate realities, alll cracked, Superboy has died somehow. Killed by a mind-controlled Supergirl, dead as a casualty of the Earth-Krypton war, assassinated by Otto Orion - any number of "premature" deaths, all of which occurred well after Superboy was established as a Legionnaire (so that he couldn't just stop showing up before those adventures occurred.

Time travel has thousands of traps, including time storms. Hit the wrong one, hit the wrong almost-duplicate future... and Superboy could very well have died during a Legion adventure. In fact, far from being the safest Legionnaire, Superboy is the most dangerous and needs the most protection for the 20th century to proceed as the "mainline" history.

This makes every Legion adventure with Superboy (their name is... well, Legion!) a possible danger to him and to the time stream. NOW you've got your real threat to Superboy.

As for the Kents, I think Weisinger might have been fixing a non-existent problem. There are people with quite young parents and somewhat older parents. I don't know that too many people would have noticed. But of course,. it was Mort Weisinger - something new every six months, whether it was good or not.

Myself, I put the young Kents in a file right next to Dr. Krylo. We'll just never speak of it again.

Fraser Sherman said:

A lot depends on how you define "change."

The Legion actually changed the past a lot. In "Secret of the Seventh Super-Hero" the fake Sun Boy's interference stops Clark's double from stealing his life. The Legion's attempt to lock Superboy up for life in their second appearance would have changed the past. They help Kryptonian refugees colonize Earth in Adventure 333, even if they do die out later.

Yes, the appearance of the phoney Sun Boy in Smallville's time did prevent Tom Tanner from assuming Clark Kent's life.  But it doesn't mean it changes the past.  Tanner being prevented from posing as Clark Kent could have been the way it was meant to happen all along.

In the same way that, if I suddenly decide to go over to my neighbour's house to borrow his lawn mower, and when I get there, I see his two-year-old fall into the swimming pool and pull him out before he drowns, that doesn't mean I changed what was "supposed" to happen (the kid drowns).

The same rationale applies to the Legion's efforts to help the ancient Kryptonians colonise Earth in Adventure Comics # 333 (Jun., 1965).

And, with regard to "Prisoner of the Super-Heroes", from Adventure Comics # 267 (Dec., 1959), the Legion made an effort to imprison Superboy because the club's futurescope showed the Boy of Steel destroying an airstrip, a steamship, and a factory.  The Legionnaires interpreted these to be acts that Superboy had yet to commit; thus, they sought to imprison him before he could do so.

But before any one can shout, "Aha!  There the Legionnaires did change the past!", there are two things to bear in mind.  First, Superboy escaped from his prison; thus he would have been free to destroy said airstrip, steamer, and factory---if they had been events he undertook in his future.

As the story relates, the Legion's futurescope was working improperly; Superboy's acts of destruction did not occur in the Boy of Steel's future.  Rather, they were actions he had already performed, and with good reason, for national security interests.

So even if the Legion's incarceration of Superboy had been successful, it would not have changed the past; the destruction committed by Superboy was already a done deal. 

On the other hand, history records Abraham Lincoln as being assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on 14 April 1865.  And Krypton exploded when Superboy was a toddler.  These things happened the way they happened, and they cannot be changed.

I believe Mort Weisinger came up with the time-travel "law" that the past was immutable as a simple measure to quiet all the fans who wrote in asking "Why doesn't Superman travel into the past and save the Titanic?"  or prevent the Great Chicago Fire, or prevent his foster-parents from dying.

Personally, I'm more in agreement with the concept that history cannot be changed that I am with the notion of "alternate histories".  Primarily because time travel is impossible, anyway.  Time is not a medium through which things can travel; it is a form of measurement so that events can be accurately recorded in the proper order.

 

"Time is not a medium through which things can travel; it is a form of measurement so that events can be accurately recorded in the proper order."

Tat doesn't disturb me any more than any of comics' (or SF) other scientific illogic.

"Tanner being prevented from posing as Clark Kent could have been the way it was meant to happen all along."

A valid alternative but one I've found aesthetically unsatisfying.

But weren't most of the "Imaginary Stories" alternate timelines?  Mort wasn't afraid of those confusing young readers.  Of course, none of those stories were as potentially confusing as the matter of the Kents being older when Clark was in diapers than they were when he was in High School...

Richard Willis said:

Eric L. Sofer said:

But one of the great DC rules of time travel was "you can't change the past."

Since Weisinger grew up with science fiction and was prominent in the original SF fandom, he was obviously familiar with the concept of alternate timelines. During his tenure, he probably used the “can’t change the past” rule because he thought the alternate timelines concept would be too confusing for younger readers.

The big difference between, say Superboy "changing the past" by attempting to stop Lincoln's assassination, and some Legionnaire saving Superboy from one of Lex Luthor's cunning traps is that Superboy knows that history says Lincoln died at that time in that manner, while the LSH knows that Superboy will grow up to be Superman (at least, they knew this during the Silver Age), so Lex's trap must have failed somehow, and it may as well be because of something they did.  Heck, given that Silver Age Luthor, much like Dr.Doom, seems likely to record all of his thoughts and insights for posterity, the LSH may well have access to "the Luthor Diaries", and have a record of exactly when and where they needed to show up to fulfill their roles in Superboy's adventures in his own time.  And when they weren't supposed to put in an appearance.  Just a thought.

Dave Elyea said:

The big difference between, say Superboy "changing the past" by attempting to stop Lincoln's assassination, and some Legionnaire saving Superboy from one of Lex Luthor's cunning traps is that Superboy knows that history says Lincoln died at that time in that manner, while the LSH knows that Superboy will grow up to be Superman (at least, they knew this during the Silver Age), so Lex's trap must have failed somehow, and it may as well be because of something they did. 

Yes, that would give the Legionnaires the impetus to travel back in time and rescue Superboy, whenever one of their future-viewers showed that he was in trouble.  In fact, that's precisely what happened in "The Army of Living Kryptonite Men", from Superboy # 86 (Jan., 1961).

When the Legion observed that Superboy and Krypto were about to die in a green-kryptonite trap laid by Lex Luthor, Lightning Lad whisked to the past to save tjhe pair with his super-lightning.

But there was more to it than that.

Though it appeared that Lightning Lad did, indeed, save the lives of Superboy and Krypto, this panel shows what occurred right after L. Lad freed them:

So Superboy would have survived to adulthood, just as history (from the perspective of the Legion) had shown, even if Lightning Lad had stayed in the thirtieth century and made time with Saturn Girl.

One could extrapolate that this was the instance that drove home to the Legionnaires the fact that the Boy of Steel would inevitably grow up to become the Man of Steel, so they stopped hotfooting it back to Superboy's era every time they saw a villain about to get a drop on him.

This was exactly the story I had in mind when I used the phrase "may as well have been" the LSH instead of "assumed it must have been them" that made the difference.  The Legion "knew" that Superboy would survive, so their actions would not be "changing the past", at least in the long run.  Actually, one would think that their biggest impact on Superboy's time would have been giving Lex Luthor knowledge that the LSH would exist 1000 years in the future, altho it does seem like pretty much everyone in Smallville knew that eventually.  One wonders if garbled historical records of a "Legion of Super-Heroes" recorded in the mid-20th century played a role in the formation of the actual LSH in the 30th century--and how many heroes in the intervening centuries attempted to form such a Legion until the real one finally came into being?

No, imaginary just meant "not part of the same fictional reality as our regular stories." I don't recall anyone bringing them up as an alternate timeline before the Bronze Age (the Superboy-as-Tarzan story).

However the update of the Superman Encyclopedia from a few years ago does list them as alternate pre-Crisis Earths.

Dave Elyea said:

But weren't most of the "Imaginary Stories" alternate timelines?  Mort wasn't afraid of those confusing young readers.  Of course, none of those stories were as potentially confusing as the matter of the Kents being older when Clark was in diapers than they were when he was in High School...

Richard Willis said:

Eric L. Sofer said:

But one of the great DC rules of time travel was "you can't change the past."

Since Weisinger grew up with science fiction and was prominent in the original SF fandom, he was obviously familiar with the concept of alternate timelines. During his tenure, he probably used the “can’t change the past” rule because he thought the alternate timelines concept would be too confusing for younger readers.

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